Energy drinks have been under scrutiny for years now, but 5 deaths linked to Monster Energy drink intake are going to draw even more criticism.
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recently released incident reports that could link the death of five people to the consumption of Monster Energy drink. The reports were obtained under the Freedom of Information Act by Wendy Crossland who initiated a lawsuit against Monster Energy blaming it for her teenager daughter’s death.
Wendy Crossland says that her 14-year-old daughter died after drinking Monster Energy. Anais Fournier died last December after she consumed Monster Energy large cans for two days in a row. The teenager developed a “cardiac arrhythmia due to caffeine toxicity complicating mitral valve regurgitation in the setting of Ehlers-Danlos syndrome”.
Mother Wendy Crossland blames Monster Energy for not putting warnings about the risk of energy drink intake. “Our primary goal is to make sure Monster is aware of what Anais’ mother thinks the drink did to her child” a lawyer with Goldberg, Finnegan & Mester told Bloomberg. “It’s the first wrongful death case involving a minor child against an energy drink company that I’m aware of” he added.
“The downsides are not printed anywhere on these cans” explained lawyer Alexander R. Wheeler. Anais’ “parents want to make sure this never happens to another family”.
But Monster Energy believes it had nothing to do with the teenager’s death. “Over the past 16 years Monster has sold more than 8 billion energy drinks which have been safely consumed worldwide…Monster is unaware of any fatality anywhere that has been caused by its drinks” reads the company’s statement.
The five other death reports that the FDA released all blame Monster Energy drinks. Another one in 2009 also links consumption of energy drink to the death, and are only a few of the 37 adverse reaction reports filed in the past 8 years. The FDA however is still evaluating the actual possibility that Monster Energy could have caused these deaths.
The FDA does not regulate caffeine limits on energy drinks, although energy drinks adverse reaction reports have increased from 1,128 in 2005 to 13,114 in 2009. In the meanwhile, energy drink producers such as Monster and Red Bull can put as much caffeine as they want in their formula since the products are sold as dietary supplements. Monster Energy for instance hasn’t even revealed the amount of caffeine in its formula.